A man watched in horror as he saw a badger being dragged from its sett and beaten with a spade, a court heard. The animal was being pulled by a rope from its den in Doynton, near Yate, surrounded by five terrier dogs which were snapping and biting at it. The man was alerted when he heard dogs yapping. He looked out of his window and saw two men and a boy with the dogs. He said: “I saw them drag out a large animal with a rope, it was covered with about four or five terriers which were biting it. He then told the court he saw the badger being hit with a spade and immediately called the police. Kieron Herlihy (33) of Welstead Avenue, Yate, denied three offences of interfering with a badger sett, taking, or attempting to take a badger. North Avon magistrates were told on 15/12/00 no charges were brought against a 12- year-old boy also arrested at the scene and the other man had not been traced. Herlihy said he had been hunting for 20 years and regularly went out with his terriers. He admitted carrying a spade which he said he used to beat down undergrowth when his dogs were after rabbits. A spiked iron bar with a T-bar handle, described by Herlihy as a hunting bar, was used as a walking stick. He denied attempting to take a badger and said his dog had become stuck in a burrow and his friend, who he refused to name, was digging it out. Magistrates found Herlihy guilty of interfering with the sett but cleared him of taking or attempting to take a badger. He was fined £100, (HOW MUCH!!!) ordered to pay £200 costs with £600 compensation for the cost of keeping his dogs in kennels before the case came to court. Two terriers belonging to the second man are still being held in kennels.
On the 28/2/01 at Nuneaton magistrates Ian O’Loughlin and Mark Bradley, both from Birmingham, were found guilty of interfering with a badger sett by entering a dog into it. On 28/3/01 they were sentenced to pay a fine of £150 each plus £50 costs.
In a landmark case, Anne Hull (39) who is the joint master of The Essex Farmers and Union Hunt of Maldon Road, Burnham, was convicted of aiding and abetting interference with a badger sett by Epping magistrates on 25/4/0l and was fined £250 with £500 costs. The court heard that during an Essex Farmers and Union Hunt, five holes in a large, established badger sett were plugged by earthstoppers and terriermen. The prosecution said although there was no suggestion that Hull had dug the hole herself, she was responsible for the hunt’s actions on that day. The court heard that hunts can be prosecuted if they trespass on land without permission or hard-block setts – packing earth so that badgers cannot undig their homes. In her defence, Hull, said: “Professional huntsman Ken Hand was responsible for the earthstoppers and terriermen. It’s not my department. Hand is employed to be in charge and he was dealing with that.” Asked why she did not contact the community centre warden for permission earlier, she said: “We cover 30 to 50 miles a day when hunting and I have four children and a busy life. I have to do it when I can.” Hand told the court: “I can’t say how they marked the badger sett as I did not get off my horse. My job is to provide support for the paying customers.” He said he was not even aware there was a sett there before the hunt. The appeal.
On 24/5/01 at Roscrea District Court Co Tipperary the judge adjourned sentencing in the case of two men convicted of badger baiting offences. Donnacha Doyle (19) of Benamore, Roscrea and Keith Murray (21) of Golden Grove, Roscrea Co.Tipperary will now face sentencing on the 26/5/01 at Roscrea District Court. They were both ordered to pay a total of £1,000 to be divided equally between Badger Watch Ireland and the ISPCA. They faced charges of interfering with a badger sett and baiting a badger with terriers. The court heard how a gang of four, two of whom were fourteen years of age, were seen walking away from a badger sett and it was noted that one of their terriers was bleeding and had a gash between its eyes and nose. There was evidence that the sett had been dug into and both defendants told the local rangers that they couldn’t get down the full distance into it because of stones and rocks. They told the ranger that the terrier had attacked a badger in the sett. They were not able to provide the ranger with any excuse for their actions. However in court, their solicitor said that they were “hunting rabbits” and one of their dogs went into a hole. The judge said she couldn’t believe the defendants’ story and convicted them, saying “I have no doubt in my mind that they were badger baiting”.
On Tuesday 25/5/01 at Aldershot magistrates Rentokil, one of the biggest pest control companies in the UK, pleaded guilty to poisoning a badger. The company admitted to the offence of causing another (employees) to use a pesticide to kill a badger, contrary to Section 16(12)(a) of the Food and Environment Protection Act 1986 and the Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986 (as amended). They were fined of £2,000 and costs of £350. The case involved an international computer company buying a plot of land at Aldershot, on which to build their European HQ. The company employed an ecological consultancy company to survey the site for wildlife and the consultants reported that there were a large number of rabbit warrens and a large badger sett on the site. Rentokil were subsequently employed to destroy the rabbits, and the Rentokil employees diligently found many holes and placed poison in them. Unfortunately they were not aware of the difference between a badger and a rabbit, and also placed poison in a number of sett entrances. The consultants returned to the site after Rentokil had placed the poison and discovered what had happened. The body of a badger was found in a sett entrance and the Rentokil employees and the company were reported for a number of offences. Rentokil has a training manual with only one line stating that badgers are protected, whereas bats are covered in much more detail. The employees in this case thought that badgers were much bigger and therefore their holes would be much bigger. One of them admitted that he had only once seen a badger, and that was when it had been cornered and its hair had been standing on end in a defence posture, so giving him the idea that badgers were much bigger!
On 14/10/98 Tot Goodwin, Joint Master and Master of Foxhounds and huntsman for the Green Creek Hounds(N.C.), and Chip Anderson, huntsman for the Tryon Hounds (N.C.), pleaded guilty to illegally transporting foxes across state lines. Goodwin and Anderson bought 22 red foxes in South Carolina from federal undercover agents. It was reported that the two huntsmen were seeking to ensure good hunting at the week-long multiple-hunt joint meet. Their purchase was a misdemeanor violation of the Lacey Act, which prohibits interstate transportation of illegally taken or possessed wildlife. The law’s purpose is to prevent the spread of such diseases as rabies, distemper and parasites. On 12/3/99 the American Masters of Foxhounds Association fined both hunts $1,000, placed each hunt on suspension for six months, and reduced them from recognised to registered status pending re-inspection by the MFHA. Goodwin and Anderson were each fined $700 and given two years probation. Charges are still pending against a third huntsman who allegedly bought 10 foxes. The MFHA’s executive director, said that his investigation showed the huntsmen were trying to repopulate an area that had been depleted by disease. “The MFHA found no indications that any of the huntsmen were ‘dropping’ foxes,” he said. “Since this investigation, the MFHA has found out that foxes cannot be released into the wild in most states, no matter how they are obtained. There are no provision to restock healthy foxes into diseased areas or in catastrophic situations where populations have been diminished.”
A farmer said today that four men who were fined £400 for illegal hare-coursing got off lightly. The gang travelled from Wellingborough to Thorney, near Peterborough, with their dogs to gamble on the sport which is responsible for the brutal death of hundreds of hares every year. The four, who were on farm-land at Thorney using lurcher dogs, had come from homes at Gypsy Lane Caravan Site, near Wellingborough, with seven dogs. But farmers spotted the men and alerted police. John Lee (28), Francis Docherty (22), Francis Docherty snr (44) and a 17-year-old youth were all arrested and charged under the Gaming Act 1831 with daytime trespass by five or more in pursuit of game. None of the men turned up for the hearing at Peterborough magistrates on 22/5/00. “This is a cruel sport. Farmers sometimes shoot the hares to stop them being killed in hare-coursing.” One local farmer said after the court case.
A Bangor man was fined £200 and ordered to pay costs of £50 at Caernarfon magistrates on 23/3/01 after pleading guilty to using a gaff to take salmon and trout in the Afon Ogwen. The court was told how David Malcolm Lloyd of Ffordd Tegau, Maesgeirchen, Bangor was seen on the banks of the river wearing a face mask and snorkel, and was seen to put his head in the river and try to strike a fish with a gaff (which is a large barbed hook designed to impale fish in the body). Lloyd was unsuccessful but as he walked away he was stopped by an inspector, who seized the gaff, mask and snorkel and reported the incident.
A huntsman who tried to stop a woman filming him after his horse died of a heart attack in Hartfield, pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm and damaging a video camera. Jonathan Wilkinson (38) from Powder Mills, Leigh, was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £50 costs and £550 compensation at Lewes Magistrates on 26/4/01. He admitted trying to stop a 58-year-old woman from Brighton from filming him when his horse collapsed and died during an Old Surrey, Burstow and West Kent Hunt meet. Wendy Peckham, spokesperson for the Countryside Alliance, said: “Jo did let his emotions get the better of him but apologised readily at the time and was given credit for his guilty plea in court. “Hi will be riding with the hunt in the future as these were extreme circumstances and in normal conditions he is a perfect gentleman.
Three men suspected of being involved in illegal dog fights were arrested on 24/5/01 in East Anglia in a joint RSPCA and police operation. In the first raid, a man and his cousin, both in their late twenties, were arrested at a house near Cambridge city centre following a tip-off to the RSPCA. Officers from the RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit were accompanied by a vet who treated two badly-injured dogs at the scene. They were later removed from the premises along with a third dog. A treadmill, books, photographs and a quantity of videos were also seized. The two were questioned over a number of alleged offences. Both were later released on police bail. In a second raid, carried out on 24/5/01 a third man was arrested at a property on the outskirts of the city centre and is being interviewed by SOU officers. One dog was seized together with a number of videos and photographs. More info to follow.
A gamekeeper was fined on 25/5/01 after admitting shooting a hen harrier, one of Britain’s rarest birds. It is the first conviction for killing the bird. Douglas Ross(33) gamekeeper of Tigh na Mara, Main Street, Dallas, is filmed carrying the rare hen harrier was fined £2,000 at Elgin sheriff court for shooting the bird. Ross, who works on the Craigmill Estate which is owned by Catharine Wills, was convicted on video evidence compiled by two members of the RSPB. The Crown accepted his not guilty pleas to shooting a second bird on the same date, having the birds in his possession and carrying a shotgun for the purpose of killing a wild bird.
On 29/5/01 14 people, including two youths, were arrested. RSPCA officers found nine dead birds at the fight, which was being staged in a warehouse on St George’s Quay, Lancaster. Another cock later had to be put down. In all, 13 birds were recovered alive following the joint operation by Lancaster police and the RSPCA Special Operations Unit. Razor-sharp spurs and kits for treating wounded animals were also recovered. Lancaster police released 14 people on bail following the raid. The RSPCA said it hoped to bring private prosecutions against those allegedly involved. A spokesman said: “These people have been bailed for a month pending further police inquiries.
An obsessed nest raider was fined £1,000 after he was found with hundreds of eggs stolen from some of Britain’s rarest wild birds. Barry Sheavills (41) of Blyth, Northumberland admitted having over 1,200 protected birds eggs including those of the very rare barn owl and peregrine falcon. South East Northumberland magistrates heard on 3/5/01 how Sheavills had an “obsession” with collecting the precious eggs and has been convicted several times in the past. RSPB investigators and Northumbria Police found the stash of 1,260 protected eggs covering dozens of species. They also uncovered a collection of 52 specially protected eggs, including those of the Slavonian grebe of which there are only 30 pairs in Britain. Sheavills pleaded guilty to the possession of both batches of eggs and of having equipment used for egg collecting. He was caught after raids by the RSPB and police who found notebooks and maps pinpointing the sites of birds’ nests. Following a raid at one of Sheavills’ friends’ homes they uncovered a cache of eggs stored in a walk-in cupboard. Sheavills was convicted of three offences and was ordered to pay the £1,000 fine with £500 costs. This bastard has a previous convictions for stealing eggs.
RAF Wing Commander Mohammed Ashraf (42) of Brockhampton Lane, Cheltenham left polo ponies without enough food, bedding and grazing pasture for up to a month, Cheltenham magistrates heard on 25/4/01. The engineering officer who has played internationally for the Combined Forces home and Great British team, denied two charges of causing suffering to the ponies and maintained he had fed them regularly. Ashraf, who played for The Guards Polo Club in Egham, Surrey and was affiliated to the prestigious Edgeworth Polo Club, near Cirencester, Gloucestershire, was ordered to pay fines of £2,000 and £7,000 legal costs . The court heard the ponies, which Ashraf had imported specially from Argentina to play polo the previous season, had become so emaciated their ribcages were protruding and they appeared weak and lethargic. Passers-by became so worried about the condition of the horses, they contacted the RSPCA.
An emaciated pony had to be put down after its owner failed to care for it properly Crawley magistrates heard on 1/5/01. The pony was suffering a skin infection and painful mouth condition caused by worn down and pointed teeth. It was starving and in poor condition, and was put to sleep after failing to respond to treatment. The pony’s owner Peter Rush(60) of Rowfant, Crawley, admitted causing unnecessary suffering by failing to provide adequate care and attention and was ordered to pay costs and compensation of £1,031.
On 21/5/01 Janice Stevens (49) of Peacock Avenue, Bedfont in Middlesex, was banned from keeping all animals for five years and ordered to pay £3,000 costs by Bracknell magistrates at after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to two ponies. The animals which were rehomed from her former animal sanctuary near Bracknell last year, were in such a bad condition they eventually had to be euthanased to prevent further suffering. Stevens, who had previously changed her plea twice, was originally charged along with her partner Frank Halliday (36) also of Peacock Avenue. Proceedings against Halliday were discontinued after Stevens admitted full responsibility for the care of the ponies.
On 11/6/01 at Lyndhurst magistrates Leigh Lawrence (40) of Slough, Bucks was found guilty of abandoning a Shetland pony with deformities in a manner likely to cause it unnecessary suffering. Lawrence was ordered to pay £540 costs to the ILPH and £150 costs to the court. On the advice of two vets the pony, which was badly deformed, sadly had to be put down.
Former Newcastle United footballer-turned-trainer Mick Quinn has been banned by the Jockey Club 0n 28/6/01 until 2004 after an inquiry into allegations that he neglected his horses. An inquiry by the disciplinary committee concluded that his licence to train should be withdrawn and they told him he should not re-apply for it before 1/1/04. The inquiry was held after complaints were made to the RSPCA over the condition of three horses left out at grass near Quinn’s Wantage stable. He was charged with a breach of rule 51 in that the overall condition of his horses fell below that expected of a licensed trainer, indicative of a lack of care and skill on Quinn’s part towards both the owners and the horses in his charge.
Dale Toten (18) of Wanstrow, Somerset kicked a helpless hedgehog like a football as he staggered home from a boozy night out. He had booted the petrified animal six feet into the air and sent it crashing into a brick wall. On 14/12/00 he was fined £150 and ordered to pay £350 costs after he admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a hedgehog at magistrates in Frome, Somerset. The hedgehog has now fully recovered and has been released back into the wild after being nursed back to health.
The infamous “crush video” case on Long Island has ended in a bizarre twist. A woman in Patchouge, New York has been arrested and charged by investigators with the creation & sale of animal crushing videos, in which rats, mice, geckos, and hamsters were tortured and crushed beneath her stiletto shoes for profit and advertised in S&M fetish chat rooms. Vanessa Moore (26) had admitted masterminding the creation of these sick so-called “crush videos” along with several unknown female friends. In 1998 Moore vied for her ex-boyfriend Thomas Capriola to be arrested & charged upon what investigators have now found to be false statements, issued by an enraged Moore following the bitter ending of a relationship. Moore was additionally charged with filing a false police report, evidence tampering as well as 2nd degree criminal conspiracy. On 2/4/01 Capriola was cleared of all animal cruelty charges during a State hearing, however the conviction of possession of marijuana in the 5th degree still holds. When Capriola was asked why he plead guilty to a crime he did not commit he stated “without the money to fight this properly, and the animal rights groups protesting, I just bit the bullet just to end all the bullshit”. Moore was arraigned at the Central Islip Cohalan court where she was remanded on $3000 bail. The SPCA whom arrested Vanessa were simply stunned by this turn of events. Moores relatives could not be reached for comment.
Chelmsford magistrates jailed a butcher for six months on 2/4/01 for his part in the illegal slaughter of sheep. Ronald Jones (56) of Gloucester Avenue, Chelmsford, Essex, admitted the offence following an undercover RSPCA operation at a farm near Braintree. Jones, who was also convicted of permitting unnecessary suffering and was given a four-month prison sentence and banned for life from keeping livestock. He was given a further two-month sentence, to run consecutively, for breaching slaughter and food safety laws. A second man, Jason Robinson (25) of Sunrise Avenue, Chelmsford, also admitted taking part in the illegal slaughter of sheep and was ordered to carry out 180 hours community service. Robinson, a former abattoir worker, was also banned from keeping livestock for five years. The RSPCA said inspectors found 11 slaughtered sheep in an outbuilding plus severed heads and the remains of carcasses.
A house painter who destroyed two birds’ nests, both full of chicks, was fined £75 by magistrates in Cheltenham on 9/4/01. David Schofield (53) of Hudson Close, Pershore, Worcestershire, pleaded guilty to the offence. Schofield was also ordered to pay court costs of £104.
A man has been jailed after stealing his neighbour’s cockerels and turning them into soup. Gheorghe Iacob (28) had repeatedly complained about the birds keeping him awake in Iasi, Romania. He said one cockerel was enough, but his neighbour had 27, which was too many. When his complaints were ignored, he stole all 27 and turned them into chicken soup. It lasted him for two weeks before he was caught and charged with theft. Iacob was sentenced to 10 years on 17/4/01.
On 10/5/01 a farmer was given a conditional discharge after he injured a horsewoman in a roadside incident. Simon Baber(43) of Withamhall Cottages, Witham Friary, pleaded guilty at Frome magistrates to a charge of assaulting a woman by beating. The court heard how the victim and another woman were walking down a Lane with a young horse when a car approached quickly. She gave arm signals to ask the driver to slow down, but the vehicle failed to do so and she stepped in to the road to try and slow it down. It accelerated past her and her riding whip hit the car. “The defendant made an emergency stop and reversed back down the road towards her. “He said: ‘What do you think you are doing?’ “She said it was a young horse and she wanted him to slow down to stop the horse or the vehicle being damaged. “He pushed his door and it struck her on the face and the side of her head. The police were called and saw the victim’s injuries which included swelling over the left eye, a split lip and whiplash. Magistrates decided on a conditional discharge for one year and ordered Baber to pay the woman £150 compensation and £60 costs.
An ostrich farmer has appeared in court after a Customs raid netted cocaine worth £3.5 million. Robin Thorpe of Yewtree Ostrich Farm, Tenterden, Kent, and Belgian Danny Van de Kerckhove were charged on 20/5/01 with importing drugs at Dover Hoverport.
On 22/5/01 a leading research institution was committed to crown court for sentencing for breaching health and safety legislation while creating an artificial hybrid virus. Imperial College pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing at London’s Marylebone magistrates court to two charges relating to laboratory work involving a combination of the hepatitis C and dengue fever viruses. The college, based in Kensington, south west London, will be sentenced at Blackfriars crown court.
On 25/5/01 two shopkeepers were found guilty of smuggling an endangered monkey into the UK for sale as “bushmeat”. Mobolaji Osakuade (40) from Dulwich, South London and his girlfriend, Rosemary Kinnane (35) face up to seven years’ jail and an unlimited fine after selling the tantalus monkey from their shop called Mercyland Trading in Dalston market, east London. A freezer in their shop also held antelopes, porcupines, goats, cane rats and large live snails from West Africa. Osakuade was convicted of eight other charges involving smuggling of python and lizard skins, while Kinnane was found guilty of 10 offences including acquisition of a pangolin, or scaly anteater, which is also an endangered species. The case at Southwark crown court, London, highlighted how a demand among expatriate African communities has created a thriving illegal bushmeat business in London. It also showed the exorbitant prices people are prepared to pay for it: the monkey was sold for £350. The jury was shown video footage shot by an undercover journalist in which Kinnane wrapped the smoked monkey and handed it over the counter. She explained how to cook it in a peppered soup. Osakuade boasted of being able to procure a chimpanzee’s hand or even a human head. He claimed he could get hold of a male lion for £5,000, telling the investigator: “I can get anybody anything they want, provided they pay for it.” On 15/6/01 they were each jailed for four months at the Old Bailey.
The case against a Staffordshire gamekeeper, accused of firing a shotgun at a trespasser, has collapsed after the Crown Prosecution Service chose to offer no evidence when the case came to Crown Court on 29/5/01. It had been alleged that the keeper, Ray Nightingale, fired his shotgun in the direction of student Raymond Pilling from Wolverhampton as Pilling was on private land, examining a legal Larsen trap. Pilling claimed he was struck and injured by a single shotgun pellet. Nightingale, a gamekeeper with 25 years experience was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, a charge which he denied throughout. He had been involved in his usual duties of controlling pigeons in woods on the estate where he works, and only became aware of the student’s presence after firing up into the trees at birds returning to roost.
A New Zealand man has been sentenced after accidentally shooting his friend dead while out hunting. Graham Walker (54) from Taupo thought he was shooting at a deer when he fired his gun on the hunting trip, but he killed friend John Lynch. He was sentenced to five months periodic detention and ordered to pay £590 compensation to Lynch’s wife . Walker, Lynch and another friend were hunting in Stony Creek in the Ahimanawa Ranges when the accident happened. At Taupo District Court on 30/5/01, Walker admitted a charge of careless use of a firearm causing death. Judge Cooper is reported as saying in the New Zealand Herald: “It is trite but true to say that there is nothing this court or you can do today to make up for the loss the Lynch family has suffered. “The cause of this tragedy was your actions.”
A police officer appeared in court on 14/6/01 accused of G.B.H. Pc David Manton (49) based in the central division of Cambridgeshire police, appeared before magistrates in Huntingdon and pleaded not guilty. He is charged with causing grievous bodily harm to Lynn Sawyer during an animal rights protest at Little Paxton on the A1. The case was adjourned until 26/7/01 for committal to the crown court. Pc Manton, appearing in court the first time, was granted unconditional bail.
Farm Animals (Guardians Of The Land – My Arse!!!)
Starving sheep barged their way through a live electric fence in a desperate bid to find food Salisbury magistrates heard on 4/1/01. The animals at Chicklade Bottom, near Tisbury in Wiltshire, were so thin it was possible to feel their ribs and bones. One was unable to stand. The flock of 40 ewes, which had lambs, were in poor condition and two had to be humanely destroyed by a vet. Stuart Guest (36) formerly of Copse Cottages, West Lydford, Somerset, admitted three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a ewe by not providing it with proper care. Guest, now a farm manager living near Crewe in Cheshire, also admitted causing unnecessary distress to livestock under his control. He was fined £260 by the magistrates who said they were “serious and emotive charges”. Guest was also banned from keeping sheep on behalf of someone else for five years.
A veterinary surgeon, called to a paddock near Shepton Mallet’s Charlton Inn, found a sick lamb with the skin and wool around a wound covered with maggots, urine and faeces Wells Town Hall Mendip magistrates were told on 19/1/01. Martin Swift (26) of Commercial Road, Shepton Mallet, admitted a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and the magistrates fined him £400 and ordered him to pay costs of £307.
A man has been jailed and banned from keeping farm animals for life after illegally slaughtering sheep on an Essex farm. Ronald Jones (56) of Gloucester Avenue, Chelmsford was banned from keeping sheep, cattle, pigs, goats, fowl and deer for the rest of his life and jailed for six months – three months suspended following an appearance at Chelmsford magistrates on 3/4/01. It followed an undercover raid by police, the RSPCA on an outbuilding at Valley Farm in Wethersfield where the carcasses of 11 sheep, some with throats cut, were found hanging from hooks. Several of the carcasses were singed and there was a blowtorch nearby. Jones had been making Smokies, singed meat that was popular abroad but illegal to make in Britain. Jason Robinson (25) of Sunrise Avenue, Chelmsford, was given 180 hours of community service, ordered to pay £300 costs, and banned from keeping, sheep, cattle, pigs, goats, fowl and deer for five years. At an earlier hearing both had admitted charges of permitting unnecessary suffering to sheep. Jones had also admitted running a slaughter house without a licence and having meat for sale which did not meet safety standards.
Case 1 – A farmer let his cattle starve to death and rot next to living animals in one of the worst ever cases of neglect in Somerset, a court was told on 5/4/01. Jeffrey Blakemore (55) of Poplar Farm, Ashton, near Wedmore was once an award winning farmer, respected and admired for his high standards of animal welfare. However, the slump in the farming industry led to the harrowing events that saw him plead guilty to nine charges of animal neglect. Bridgwater magistrates heard how veterinary and Trading Standards officers went to his home after responding to concerns about the welfare of his livestock. They found a large number of animals living in appalling conditions in sheds, in deep manure with little food and in poor lying conditions. There were 16 bovine carcasses and the carcasses of eight pigs in various states of decomposition. Also there were some live animals present. There was a total of 40 cattle and one pig, 22 of those present in the same sheds as the carcasses and some of those in very poor condition. It was so dark in the sheds the vets had to use torches to establish whether some of the animals were alive or dead. The 22 living animals had no access to a dry area to lie down as the floors were covered in manure and slurry. At least three of the carcasses were emaciated and had been dead for up to two weeks, the court heard. A post mortem report showed they had starved to death. Blakemore pleaded guilty to nine charges including two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, three counts of failing to feed livestock a wholesome diet, two counts of failing to provide an animal with adequate lying space, failing to dispose of carcasses and failing to comply with a notice.
The trial of a farmer accused of nine animal cruelty charges came to an abrupt halt on 10/4/01. The case was scheduled to take three days but Cheltenham magistrates adjourned the case within an hour after the farmer, Francis John Beavis of Hill Farm, Oxenton, Bishop’s Cleeve said he had not been properly notified about the charges on which he was to be tried. The magistrates adjourned the case until 14/5/01, when all matters would be listed for trial and pleas formally taken.
Case 2 – A Cheddar Valley farmer denied neglecting animals at his farm near Wedmore when he appeared at Bridgwater magistrates on 23/4/01. Jeffrey Blakemore (55) of Poplar Farm, Ashton pleaded not guilty to six charges of causing unnecessary suffering and failing to provide adequate feed. Blakemore admitted failing to comply with a notice for disposal of carcasses, failing to dispose of them and failing to provide a dry area for animals. He is said to have suffered clinical depression after his business was hit by the slump in farming. The hearing was adjourned for a month for a pre-trial review.
On 1/5/01 Penzance magistrates ordered a Cornwall farmer to pay £3,000 in fines and costs after slurry was found in a stream near Penzance. Following a visit to Brew Farm at St Levan farm effluent was found entering the stream, a tributary of the Penberth Stream, from a brown plastic pipe. The stream was grossly polluted with sewage fungus evident downstream of the discharge. Magistrates heard Adrian Charles Semmens of Brew Farm, St Levan, Penzance plead guilty to causing trade effluent to enter the stream. He was fined £2,000 with £1,000 costs.
A farmer was ordered to pay £1,500 in fines and costs after a Cornwall stream was turned brown in colour with farm waste. Following reports that a tributary of the River Ottery was discoloured and smelled of slurry investigators traced the problem upstream to the Roose tributary where checks at East Roose Farm found farm waste flowing into the stream from three separate points. A large slurry store and its dirty water pits were overflowing and the effluent was running over the field and into the stream. Thick, brown, smelly effluent was also flowing into the Roose tributary from an irrigation pipe. The pollution was in the river spread for more than four kilometres. On 3/5/01 East Cornwall magistrates heard George Henry Parsons of East Roose Farm, Otterham, Camelford plead guilty to causing poisonous, noxious or polluting matter to enter controlled waters. He was fined £1,000 with £500 costs. Parsons has also paid £245 in clean-up costs.
A farmer escaped a maximum £170,000 fine after Exeter magistrates found him guilty on 11/5/01 of moving livestock in breach of foot-and-mouth restrictions. Instead they fined George Mortimer from Uton Barton near Crediton £5,000 and ordered him to pay £2,836 costs after he was convicted of moving ewes and lambs between two farms without lawful authority or excuse shortly after the crisis broke out in Devon.
Farmer Cornelius Keane (37) from Bawnbue, Drimoleague, Co Cork, Ireland who injected 49 of his 133 cattle with slurry in an attempt to give them TB so he could claim slaughter grants was given a 3 year jail sentence in Cork on 16/5/01. He admitted four charges of attempting to defraud the Department of Agriculture by faking the symptoms of tuberculosis. The animals had massive swelling and lumps half the size of footballs with pus seeping from them, they were standing with arched backs and suffering very considerably from pain and toxemia. He took slurry from the floor of his milking parlor and injected it into the necks of the cattle. When they grew lumps he did not call a vet but pierced the lumps with a knife. The liquid he injected also contained caustic soda from the floor which made the injections toxic. He was given 2 weeks to get his things in order before going to jail.
A farm contractor who was responsible for the pollution which killed 10,000 fish in the River Tamar, has been ordered to pay £3,000 in fines and costs. David Prouse (40) of Rydon Mill, Holsworthy will face an estimated £18,000 bill for remedial work following the pollution. In 1999 thousands of dead and dying fish were found in the Tamar at Crowford Bridge and investigators tracked the pollution back to the Thorn tributary and to a field at Thorn Farm, Pancrasweek near Holsworthy. It was there that Prouse’s workmen were carrying out agricultural contracting work and following a heavy storm slurry had been washed into the water course and found its way into the river. This had led to a depletion of the oxygen levels which had in turn led to the dead and dying fish. At Exeter Crown Court on 19/5/01 Prouse pleaded guilty a charge of polluting controlled waters. He was £1,000 and ordered him to pay £2,000 in costs.
Two men faced negligence charges involving 96 sheep, when they appeared in court at Melton Mowbray on 12/6/01. They were each accused of 46 offences involving the sheep at a farm on the outskirts of Oakham. The two men are David John Carter (33) of Hartopp Road, Melton Mowbray, and Peter Miller (61) of Station Road, Twenty, near Bourne, Lincolnshire. The trial was adjourned until 20/8/01 after Carter changed his not guilty plea to guilty. Miller denies the charges. The offences, alleged to have been committed include omitting to do an act which resulted in unnecessary suffering to an animal and permitting livestock on agricultural land to suffer unnecessary pain or unnecessary distress. The offences were allegedly committed at Massfield Farm, near Oakham.
A kitten was left in agony after fat from an upturned chip pan fell all over his body causing severe burns that were left untreated for five days. Owners Virginia George (32) and partner Paul Best (40) of Acomb Wood Drive, York, pleaded guilty to neglect and failing to provide veterinary attention. The pair each received two years’ conditional discharge and were ordered to pay £1,100 costs by York magistrates.
A drunken rage which ended with a cat being stabbed to death has been described as the worst case of animal cruelty seen all year. Gary Travers (35) of Fairview Road, Weymouth, was jailed for two months and banned from keeping any animal for seven years by Dorchester magistrates for cruelty to the family cat. Police were called to the scene after Travers’ partner had found the cat dead with a kitchen knife embedded in its neck. The cat had been stabbed eight times and the vet who examined it said it must have suffered distress throughout the attack. The court heard Travers had become upset with the pet after he claimed it was carrying fleas and decided the best cure was to kill it.
A man who left a pair of lizards in an empty flat without food, water, heat or lighting, has been found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering. Eastbourne magistrates heard on 17/1/01 how William Newton of Claremont Road, Seaford left the leopard geckos behind when he moved from his flat to Kent. The animals were discovered when the police were called to investigate a burglary. The court heard the animals had been found suffering from malnutrition and roundworm. The smaller one has since died. Eastbourne magistrates adjourned the case until 9/2/01 so Newton, who did not attend court, could be sentenced.
On 6/2/01 Sarah Duggan (24) from Moredon has been banned from keeping dogs for 18 months, after being convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to her pet dog. She was also sentenced to 40 hours community service and ordered to pay £350 to the costs of the RSPCA prosecution. The court heard how Duggan did not treat her 12-year-old boxer when he developed a tumour on his back which turned out to be cancerous. He was eventually operated on by a vet when a member of the public took him to a surgery after finding him wandering the streets. Tyson died within one month of the surgery from an unrelated condition, but the court heard he would have been in pain from the cancerous lump before the operation.
A woman whose family once owned a pet shop was fined £150 for starving two pet guinea pigs to death. Denise Warner (29) of Coronation Avenue, Keynsham pleaded guilty at Bath magistrates on 7/2/01 to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to her pet guinea pigs. Warner was fined £75 for each charge, ordered to pay an additional £50 costs and £50 to the RSPCA.
A dog owner has had one of his three pets seized by a court after he was found guilty of causing the animal unnecessary suffering. And he was warned that if he could not afford to keep a dog he should not own one. But on 27/2/01 magistrates in Cirencester allowed Carl Lancaster (40) of Brooke Road, Cirencester to keep another Rottweiler and a Jack Russell after being told there was no complaint about the way he had looked after them. Lancaster was accused of ill-treating his third dog a Rottweiler. Lancaster said the dog had some broken teeth but it was going to cost £80 and he couldn’t afford it. He was conditionally discharged for 12 months.
A man responsible for one of the worst cases of cruelty ever seen by an RSPCA inspector began a four month jail sentence for causing unnecessary suffering. Arthur Rook (38) of Crock Lane, Bridport, Dorset beat an old arthritic dog with a poker as the Labrador cross lay on a sofa then fractured its skull with a stone. Rook, now banned from keeping dogs for five years, had his sentence confirmed by Taunton Crown court on 7/3/01 after an appeal was withdrawn. A previous court hearing was told that the dog screamed with pain as Rook struck him four or five times with the poker. Rook kept saying he was going to kill the dog and when Mrs Rook went to phone the police she saw him pick up a large stone from a fireplace and bring it down on it’s head. The dog was later put down by a vet and a postmortem revealed the dog had a depressed fracture of the skull and fractured ribs.
The owner of a dog kennels and cattery at Winterbourne is to face a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog. John Samuel of Firlea boarding kennels at Swan Lane, will deny the offence. The prosecution, which is being brought by the RSPCA, is set to go head at North Avon magistrates court on May 25. The dog is alleged to have died while in the care of the kennels. (9/3/01)
A national appeal to find a new home for a neglected puppy was launched on television hours after its previous owner had his penalty doubled for causing suffering. Paul White (40) of Beckington Crescent, Chard, appeared before Taunton Crown Court on 12/3/01 to appeal against his conviction and sentence by South Somerset magistrates in 2000, but withdrew at the last minute. Magistrates had ordered him to pay £300 compensation for causing unnecessary suffering to a lurcher dog by failing to provide care and attention, and he was also disqualified from owning a dog or ferret for two years. Although White had withdrawn the case he was ordered to pay an additional £300.
A Shepton Mallet couple have been banned from keeping dogs for five years after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to two dogs. Vanessa Fay Sumter and Craig Adam Sumter, of Meadow Rise, asked a 13-year-old girl to look after their pets, which also included cats and a ferret, while they were on holiday. However the girl found a lurcher in the house in a very poor condition and could see all its bones, particularly the ribs and pelvic bones, it had substantial hair loss along its back and legs and the skin was flaky and scaly. I also stroked the collie and could easily feel all its bones. I also noted matted clumps of hair and faeces on the dog’s feet. Another dog in the house was in an emaciated body condition, was very dirty and malodorous, and had a severely overgrown nail on its right fore foot and dental calculus. A vet found that the lurcher was also in an emaciated condition and was dirty with overgrown nails on all feet. There was hair loss with crusting and scaling of the skin along the length of its back, chest, abdomen and tops of paws. Blood tests indicated infection or inflammation and both dogs also showed raised liver enzymes, low blood protein and albumin. This could either be due to primary liver disease or starvation. The couple were fined £400 with £100 costs to be paid at a rate of £50 a month on 22/3/01.
A man threw his girlfriend’s pet Chihuahua against a wall before battering it over the head with a spanner, then dumped in a wheelie bin where she was discovered, whimpering in pain, and later had to be destroyed, a court was told on 9/4/01. Wayne Greenwood (31) of Lilac Road, Blackburn (31) attacked the dog after an argument with partner. Greenwood pleaded guilty at Blackburn magistrates to animal cruelty. After reading pre-sentence reports the magistrates went along with a recommendation that the case be adjourned so Greenwood can be assessed for programmes to address substance related offending and domestic violence. The dog was examined by a vet who found it had a fractured skull and there was brain tissue visible through the wound. There were other injuries which Mr Harrison said were consistent with a second attack on the dog. It had then been left in the bin to die and it’s injuries were so severe that she had to be destroyed, he said. On 4/5/01 Greenwood was jailed for 60 days and banned from keeping animals for the rest of his life.
A North Carolina teenager who beheaded and skinned a pet dog has been ordered to re-read the Lassie books by a judge. Jason Vincent Revels (19) from Gastonia, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty on 24/4/01 but told the court he couldn’t remember killing his mother’s pit bull. A Superior Court Judge sentenced him to three years probation and ordered him to re-read the classic stories. Revels will have to undergo psychiatric tests and will be banned from keeping pets during his probation period.
A jobless farm worker who shot a terminally ill dog 12 times with an air rifle has been convicted of causing the animal unnecessary suffering. Alan Terry (50) from Swanmore, near Fareham, Hampshire repeatedly shot the Alsatian cross over a period of 20 minutes because it had a large cancerous growth on its head, Fareham magistrates were told on 26/4/01. Terry admitted killing the 10-year-old dog but pleaded not guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the animal. He was found guilty and fined £150 and £200 costs, and banned for keeping animals for 12 months. The court was told Terry had been left Summerlands farm, in Curdridge, near Fareham, where the dog lived following a friend’s death and that he went to the farm to shoot the dog. Using a .22 calibre air rifle he shot the dog four times in the head and chest before she was placed in a hole and shot a further eight times, the court was told. The dog eventually died but the time from the first shot to the last shot was 20 minutes. The court was told the dog died of heart failure owing to haemorrhaging in the chest caused by the pellets.
A pensioner (see right) who kept dozens of animals in “appalling” conditions has been given atwo-month jail sentence suspended for a year. Maurice Young of Shallowford, Hatherleigh, Devon was also disqualified from keeping animals for 15 years when he appeared for sentence before Tiverton magistrates on 27/4/01. The court ordered that his five dogs should be placed in the care of the RSPCA, and he was ordered to pay £300 costs. When he first appeared in court Young admitted 34 charges of cruelty to 62 animals on his 7.5-acre smallholding. Young who lives in a mobile home with no electricity or mains water, faced charges relating to goats, calves, bantams, rabbits, ponies, chickens, guinea pigs and dogs.
Stuart Sturgess (27) of Heathcott Road, Leicester has been banned from keeping any animals for seven years after RSPCA officers found two dogs suffering at his Wigston home. Sturgess pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the animals, a border collie called and a Labrador-cross. Both dogs were taken from his former home in Amesbury Road, Wigston, to Woodside Animal Shelter, but later had to be put down Leicester magistrates were told on 10/5/01. The dogs were found in the back garden, emaciated and suffering from fur loss, skin conditions and “crawling with fleas”. Sturgess was disqualified from keeping any animals for seven years and ordered to carry out an 80-hour community punishment order. He was also ordered to pay £400 costs.
A couple moved house abandoning their two dogs, one of which starved to death, a court was told on 16/5/01. Christine Dawson (37) pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a black and white terrier bitch that died. She also pleaded guilty to a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a black and tan cross. David Anthony Mitchinson (29) pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the second dog. The court was told the dogs were left to fend for themselves in the backyard of a house in Teesdale Terrace, Thornaby, Teesside, when Dawson and Mitchinson moved house to Roworth Road, Middlesbrough. Magistrates adjourned the cases against the couple until 4/6/01, for pre-sentence reports. They were granted conditional bail.
A hearing over three allegations of causing unnecessary suffering to animals against Kathleen Jaffray (48) of Roworth Road, Middlesbrough, was adjourned until 12/6/01. She entered a plea of not guilty and was given conditional bail.
A pet iguana had been so mistreated it was “like a limp rag” North Tyneside magistrates heard on 25/5/01. RSPCA officers raided the Benton Pet Centre, Longbenton, following a complaint. The Iguana was bought from Gary Noble (50) and his wife Joan (45) of Rectory Terrace, Hexham, Northumberland. Gary Noble was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering. Joan Noble was cleared of causing unnecessary suffering. They were both conditionally discharged for two years. They were both banned from keeping reptiles for life.
A man appeared at Barnsley magistrates on 1/6/01 accused of killing a Labrador puppy by dousing it in petrol and setting it on fire. Gavin Stephen Sharpe (23) of Firham Close, Royston, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, has been charged with theft and cruelty to an animal. The six-month old family pet was lured from the rear yard of a house before being set alight.
A man who killed a dog in an ‘appalling act of cruelty’ has been given a two-year suspended prison sentence. At North Lincolnshire magistrates on 5/6/01 they heard how Darren Crowe (left) had committed the worst act of animal cruelty they had ever seen. Darren Crowe (30) of High Street, Wroot, admitted animal cruelty after killing his Jack Russell. The court were told that a witness was awoken by the sound of a dog, when they looked they saw Crowe sitting on the pavement with a small Jack Russell. He was swinging it about between his legs so it landed on the pavement. The thuds could be heard in the bedroom by the witnesses. The dog was then thrown to the ground but as it tried to crawl away Crowe began to swing it by its lead in the air. The dog landed six yards away on the road. As Crowe tried to walk away he was detained by people who had witnessed the attack on his pet. Crowe, said he could recall nothing of the incident as he was taking alcohol and drugs which had ‘dulled his consciousness’. As well as the two-year suspended sentence Crowe was banned from keeping animals for life. Two other dogs which were owned by Crowe were taken off him by the RSPCA following the incident. He was also ordered to pay £45 court costs.
A Leicester teenager who left his puppy’s broken leg untreated appeared in court charged with causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. Leicester magistrates heard on 6/6/01 that Daniel Marshall (18) of Liberty Road, Braunstone Frith, failed to take his four-month-old black crossbreed bitch to the vet after he accidentally trod on her. An RSPCA inspector took the dog to a vet who found she had two fractures in her back hind leg. Marshall said he had run to answer the phone and accidentally stood on Shadow’s back leg. He pleaded not guilty to one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. He received a conditional discharge for 18 months for the unnecessary suffering charge, five charges of deception and one of attempted deception. He was ordered to pay £500 costs, disqualified from keeping an animal for two years and a confiscation order was made on his dog to be rehomed.
On 8/6/01 a Wisconsin (USA) cat killer who also had sex with a dead cat has had his application for parole turned down. Barry Herbeck is serving 12 years for the offences. He got hold of the animals through adverts offering a good home for unwanted pets. He was convicted on five counts of animal abuse. Herbeck who is currently in prison in Whiteville, Tennessee, had his parole request deferred for two years. Herbeck was arrested in 1997 after one of his acquaintances found cat entrails in his rubbish bin and alerted police who found the bodies of five cats.
A mother and son have been banned from keeping animals for five years after they were found guilty of causing their family dog unnecessary suffering. Anne Nicol Lythe (41) and her son Gary (19) from West Auckland Road, Darlington, had pleaded not guilty at Bishop Auckland magistrates on 18/6/01. The family pet was taken from their home by RSPCA officers after the 14-year-old animal was found to be desperately underweight and infested with fleas. Magistrates ruled that the dog should be transferred to the care of the RSPCA and the defendants were told to pay £250 each towards costs.
A Tyneside man was fined £700 on 20/6/01 after leaving a pet snake for dead. Chris Richardson (28) a butcher, of Rising Sun Cottages, Wallsend, admitted cruelty and neglect charges involving a chequered garter snake. The RSPCA found the animal half-starved in a shed in Dinsdale Avenue, Wallsend, four months after Richardson left the house, North Tyneside magistrates heard. Richardson admitted neglecting the snake and was fined £350 for causing unnecessary suffering and £350 for abandoning the reptile.
A drunk mother cooked the family cat in a microwave when a flea from the animal bit her on the leg, a court was told. Nadine Trewin (31) of Adelaide Close, Langley Green, Crawley, denies animal cruelty. On 20/6/01 magistrates in Horsham heard how the cat had jumped in the microwave and Trewin had switched it on. Trewin’s friend told the court: “She said that she had done something very cruel. She said to me that she had killed her cat. I asked her how she had killed it. She said she had been drunk and that she had killed the cat in the microwave. The court heard Trewin was suffering with depression and had been prescribed Prozac when the incident occurred. On the night in question she had drunk seven cans of lager and almost two bottles of wine. A vet later examined the dead cat and found haemorrhaging on the brain which could have been caused by being cooked in a microwave oven, the court heard. The cat also had other injuries on its body as a result of either being hit prior to death or as a result of thrashing about in the oven. Sentencing was adjourned to 23/7/01.
A woman who put her kitten in a microwave oven and killed it after an all-day drinking session was jailed for three months by magistrates in Wimbledon on 22/6/01. Lillian Kottke (50) of Farnham Gardens, Raynes Park, was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to the animal. She was banned from keeping any animal for life. Kottke put the tabby and white kitten in the microwave oven during a drinking session in her flat. The kitten’s ears and tongue were red and one of its paws was burned. A vet who examined the animal’s body said the injuries were consistent with this sort of death. Kottke was said to have shouted abuse at police officers that attended the incident, saying she would microwave the rest of her cats, which included two adults and three kittens.
A dog, left needing a blood transfusion after enduring months of starvation, was in such a timid state she had forgotten how to play. The white German shepherd, was found cowering in a small, urine and faeces-covered porch at the home of Kenneth Webb (48) of Newlands Cottage, Cliffe, near Selby. There was no sign of food, water or bedding. On 27/6/01 Selby magistrates banned Webb from keeping any animals for five years after he pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering. He was also sentenced to 100 hours community service and ordered to pay £850 costs. The dog has since made a full recovery
A Cambridgeshire man has been banned for five years from having custody of any animal after he left his dog to starve over Christmas while he celebrated the festive season elsewhere. Leslie Young (44) of Peterborough, admitted trapping a two-year-old black and white collie, in an eight-foot-square kitchen with no food or water Peterborough magistrates heard during June 2001. Young was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £843. KC has since been rehomed by the RSPCA and renamed Kali.